By: Bill Waters
Published: Jul 4, 2021

Best and Worst TV Series Finales

The top 5 best and worst TV series finales of all time. We have a list of finales from TV from some of the most popular series. This includes the worst and the best.

1. M*A*S*H signed off the air on February 28, 1983. It was the most watched show in history. For the finale, when Hawkeye saw B.J. Hunnicutt’s “Goodbye” note, spelled out in rocks, from his helicopter, there wasn’t a dry eye in the country.

2. NEWHART - Sadly, the “last season was all a dream/fantasy” device gained great traction in the eighties, but “Newhart” used it to great effect, creating one of the most hilarious moments in television by making the entire eight-season run a dream of his character’s from his previous series, “The Bob Newhart Show.” When Suzanne Pleshette, who played his wife on that show, popped her head out from under the covers in their bedroom, this finale’s classic status was secured.

3. THE FUGITIVE ended quick and only ran for four years. Dr. Richard Kimble was running from the law and hunting the man behind the crime for which he was convicted — his wife’s murder. With the killing of the one-armed man, Kimble found salvation. This “Fugitive” kept Americans glued to their seats with suspense making it one of the best finales.

4. MARY TYLER MOORE signed off on March 19, 1977. Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) was the first television character to portray the challenge of being an independent single woman in America. The final episode included a brilliant and darkly comic statement on corporate stupidity, as Richards’ employer, WJM-TV, was sold, with the new owners firing everyone but the incompetent Ted Baxter. The emotional group hug for the finale reminded viewers of the depth of the show’s heart.

5. CHEERS ended on May 20, 1993. A goodbye drink at a bar where everyone knows your name should offer both humor and sentiment. It was driven by the return of Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) who engaged in a hilarious game of deceptive cat vs. lying mouse with her old flame, Sam Malone (Ted Danson). Sam’s final words were “Sorry, we’re closed” one of the top finales ever seen.

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